Big Red Car here. Things are going to be very warm and very sunny here today in the ATX. Ahhh, Friday, a day that all Big Red Cars love.
So, Old Sport, we have not had any Big Red Rules for some considerable time. Today, for you, Big Red Rules X.
The NSA and you
You will never be happy with the results of mixing secrecy, inadequate supervision, 20-something Geeks, access to every form of communication on Earth, Cray computers, USB ports and flash drives. It is an explosive and volatile mix. Happiness is not part of that mix. Never will be.
People should never be surprised that when you have secret information, USB ports and flash drives that both Elvis and the secrets quickly leave the building.
Technology in the hands of geeks will ALWAYS be used, abused and violated. Geeks cannot help themselves. The abuse of technology is their defining concept their raison d’etre. They call it “disruption” and they can be very, very disruptive. Know this.
The most basic element of keeping anything secret is compartmentalization. If a Geek can see all the secrets in the database, you, Old Sport, are screwed. You must have safeguards which compartmentalize and alert you to when those compartments are violated. This is called adult supervision.
Do not be surprised that folks who break other country’s laws for a living — CIA, NSA, DIA — are not all that particular about respecting our laws. The folks at the CIA routinely deal with folks who betray their countries so a little white lie to Congress? Ahh, that’s not such a big deal, is it?
Upside of the NSA having all of your stuff on their computers? My laptop hard drive crashed last week and they were able to send me a back up.
Stating the obvious
The number one problem in America continues to be jobs, jobs, jobs and the absence of jobs is what is driving the pitiful and anemic recovery of the economy. Immigration and gun control are not our most important priorities just now. It is jobs.
We have been at 7.5% unemployment for almost five years now. Are you happy with this “new norm”? Nobody is doing anything to change this. It is like NASCAR — everybody is content to allow someone else to drive and is just waiting for the big crash.
Do you recall how the “revenue enhancements” were to be followed by “entitlement reform”? How there was to be a balanced approach? Aren’t you a quaint little person? You actually believed that nonsense, didn’t you? So charming. Let me pinch those silly little pink cheeks.
The Declaration of Independence was a single page. The Constitution was four pages. Obamacare bill, as proposed and debated, was 2,400 pages. Obamacare law, as enacted, was 906 pages. Senate Immigration bill, as proposed and debated and enacted was 1,200 pages. What is the teaching point here, Old Sport? Everybody can read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution but nobody is reading this crappy long-winded legislation. Maybe we should go back to short, meaningful laws and stop tricking the public?
Just for the record — nobody, including the Wicked Witch of the West, has read either of those bills. Nobody.
If the name of your company is substituted for the basic function of your company — you may have achieved product-market fit. Search. Google.
Google is like a bunch of mad scientists. Who knows what the Hell they will come up with next? Google glass — hang on cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
If you are not discovering a cool new website every day, you, Old Sport, are not even trying.
This Internet stuff looks it may just catch on. [Stolen from the Sage of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Charlie Crystle. But who's checking anyway?]
Technology is allowing families to be closer and to stay in touch anywhere and everywhere. Skype I love you. I adore you. Don’t let those babies get out of your view.
Save all your pictures and videos and documents on a drive that is accessible by your entire family. Create a family treasure trove of content. A hundred years from now that silly picture of your now 6’4″ baby boy in a sailor suit holding a chocolate bunny will be funny as Hell when he is running for President.
Hey, Grandmas, when you print a picture from a computer there are still other “copies” available to everyone. Don’t fret about your having the only copy. Trust me on this one.
No, Grandpa, the “cloud” has nothing to do with “saving for a rainy day” but they are both pretty good ideas. Stay on the “internets” with Al Gore and everything will be OK. Bit chippy, Big Red Car, not like you to be so condescending and chippy. WTF?
The Internal Revenue Service
So you were really surprised to learn that the initial explanation of the IRS’s jerking around the Tea Party applications was the work of two low level dweebs in Cincinnati turned out not to be true? Really?
Any organization whose workers are all a member of a union will be run in great measure like the leadership of that union. The National Treasury Employees Union is understandably a bit left leaning. Deal with it. Curse it if you must. But know and deal with it. They cannot help themselves. Frog and scorpion story.
When any member of the senior leadership of any government department invokes their Fifth Amendment right not to INCRIMINATE themselves, it is time for some housecleaning. We are not talking about being late for work, we are talking about CRIMES.
Communication is not just the spoken or written word. It is all the signals that you send including your physical appearance, the stuff you bring to work and the things you talk about in a casual conversation. If you are complaining to the receptionist how crappy the service is at the BMW dealership, you are communicating. Big time. And, guess what, you, Old Sport, you are a jerk. Keep it real.
You cannot over communicate. There is a shelf life on things you communicate to others. This is why the Marines never have any trouble getting recruits. Their message is timeless, simple and they repeat the Hell out of it. The Marines!
If you are a boss or any other kind of leader, sometimes you have to force the communication to the surface. Make your folks ask questions and don’t let them leave until all questions have been answered. People want to know WTF is going on and it is your job to communicate WTF is going on.
Correct me if I am wrong but nobody from the South has ever retired to the North. Is that correct?
The most attractive element of the North is its cooler weather in the summer time. The least attractive element of the North is its colder weather in the winter time. Make sure to get your times right.
Paula Deen embarrasses a lot of Southerners. Good manners are not just for show. Using pejorative terms is not excusable in any context or at any time. Works both way. The woman makes some damn good food but that is no excuse for being a jerk.
Being able to eat country ham for breakfast is as close to the wonderment of eating stolen watermelon as you can get at that time of the morning. Not some damn “ham” — glorious, thin sliced, well done, salty, tough, chewy country ham. It is bacon’s big brother. In the South, even freakin’ McDonald’s serves country ham biscuits.
If you ever drive through the Shenandoah Valley, get off the Interstate and explore for ten miles on each side. You will be in wonder as you pass old farms and plantations. This was the breadbasket of the Confederacy and it is still a wonder.
The Help — did you like the book and movie? Well, it was so true as to be painful. Those were different times and they were not good times for everyone. Obviously. That kind of racism and meanness is just below the surface and that is a scourge. Sorry. Had to be said.
The South is very rich and diverse. The West is different. It is not the same as the South. Know the difference. Do not go looking for the South in the West. Both are good but they are different. Proof? Pig BBQ v beef BBQ — revealed truth.
You cannot swing a cat on a ten foot rope and fail to hit a Californian today in Texas. You thought cockroaches were a problem? [Just for the record, Texas loves Californians. It's legal immigration, at least, no?]
You do not need a visa and a sponsor to move to Texas. That is absolutely not true. It is, however, a very good practice.
Texas has the highest gun ownership in its history and the murder rate is at an all time low. Don’t try this at home. There is some stuff that only works in Texas and we’re OK with that. Just ponder it.
Texas oil production has been increasing at an enviable rate. The regulatory environment to prospect for oil — drill an oil well, ya’ll — is slick and quick. There is a reason why the economy is a bit better in Texas. Monkey see, monkey do?
Texas has accounted for almost 50% of all the jobs in the whole United States in the last five years. There are some benefits to low taxes, streamlined regulation and a positive attitude. Absent Texas jobs, the entire rest of the country has a net negative number. Bit more of that monkey see, monkey do?
Make fun of Rick Perry, our Governor. He’s the longest sitting Governor in Texas history. He’s created the best economy in the United States. He married a cheerleader. And, he’s coming to your hometown to steal your jobs and move them to Texas. The Big Red Car is a bit ambivalent about the job stealing but it does feel good to see Rahn Emanuel get his clock cleaned, no?
OK, dear reader, that is enough for today. The Big Red Car is exhausted. And I know you are too. Be good to yourselves. You deserve it.